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Monday, December 16, 2013

The Heavens Declare His Glory ! !

sunrise1dec2013.jpgDear Friends and Prayers:

Yesterday morning on my way up to the chapel I felt urged to go up to the ridge beyond to watch the dawn. I was rewarded by a glorious sunrise that my little camera struggled to capture. My soul does a better job of that, and reminded of the words of this 270 year-old hymn I loved as a child.

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day, O never fail to say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
And at your work rejoice, to sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

I never knew it was an old German hymn, or that there were fifteen stanzas either! It is very uplifting, and you can see it all at this link.

sunrisedec2013.jpgIt is certainly true what Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." Sometimes I struggle to understand how such a loud and clear message of a Creator is so easily overlooked and ignored by an unbelieving world. As Paul says in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."

And speaking of the heavens, or of the heavens speaking, we received a gift not long ago from friends who visited us. It is a DVD about the star that the wise men from the East saw over Bethlehem. The brother who produced it is an American lawyer who was drawn to study the scriptures about this historical event and wound up finding the actual event with powerful astronomy software.

I had seen the video a year or so ago on the web, but now having the video in hand have watched it a few times with friends. It is amazing to see something that we have known to be true by faith alone now come to light under scientific scrutiny. It confirms and inspires in a way we are not accustomed to, is thought provoking and is wonderfully worth the hour it takes to watch it. Here is the link to the video. There is a special 2-minute extra clip to watch at the end as well.

This is especially relevant because of the Christmas season. It also makes a great gift and can be found on their website at bethlehemstar.net.

The hard part about the glorious Gospel is that even when confronted by the most convincing evidence, men's hearts remain hard. If you remember in Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus, Father Abraham says to the rich man in verse 31, "...'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'" Luke 16:19-31

That is why we pray for revival. We must of course continue to share the Gospel message wherever we can, but unless the Holy Spirit touches a person and confronts and convicts them of their need, nothing much happens. And so we pray that this Christmas brings revival to many hearts!

And we wish you and your loved ones a Christmas filled with the presence and love of the Lord Jesus Himself,

Dick & Gladys


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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Simple lessons from a simple creature...

butterflysurvivor.jpgDear Praying Friends:

After we got home from Majorca I put up our "winter tent" in the balcony of the chapel. While sweeping cobwebs from the corner, I found a butterfly which I had seen  there since early October and had assumed was dead. To my total astonishment, when I swept it away it fluttered clumsily down to the bench below - alive!

I was amazed as I watched it moving slowly around, crawling over obstacles with apparent determination. The following morning I was more suprised to found it over on the wall beside the window. And then the next morning it was downstairs on the windowsill, so I put it outside where I thought it wanted to be.

It was such a lesson for me about hope and patience. As if the Lord was reminding me again about our work here. On the surface it may not look like much is happening, just as I thought there was nothing happening with this little butterfly. But we know in Whom we have trusted, and that He is faithful to fulfill his promises.

We just got an email from a friend a while ago with a scripture from Isaiah 49:23 that states this wonderful truth. "...Then you will know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me." 

derwenfawr-rebuild.jpgYesterday we got a ride to the weekly prayer meeting at the Bible College of Wales in Swansea with a friend who stayed overnight with us. It was a blessing to see many friends again and meet others who come join in the prayer time there. One of the themes of prayer for the day was salvation and release from bondage. We received a word to just read scriptures as prayer and the Lord had already had this portion from Isaiah 25 that I was waiting to share.

"7 And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. 9 And it will be said in that day: 'Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'"

They have started work on the main house now, removing everything old and preparing to renew it all. I remember the many times we prayed for this place to be purchased and restored and now it is happening. The small monument says "Jehovah Jireh" in front and "Faith is Substance" on the other side. The work going on is visible evidence of yet another amazing truth of our God and it gladdens the heart.

Rejoicing in the Lord's faithfulness!

Dick & Gladys


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